U.S. Attorney dedicates unit to investigating civil rights cases - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

U.S. Attorney dedicates unit to investigating civil rights cases

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A new division of the U.S. Attorney's Office will be dedicated to exclusively investigating civil rights cases.

Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton said he was assigning two prosecutors to lead the new Civil Rights Unit, which will prosecute a full spectrum of civil rights violations.

"I am extremely excited and proud to announce the creation of a dedicated Civil Rights Unit for the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Tennessee," Stanton said.

Stanton stood beneath the balcony where civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Junior was assassinated make the announcement.  FBI agent in charge Amy Hess and Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez also joined in.

"Your U.S. attorney is at the forefront of ensuring that one of the critical legacy items of this president and attorney general is given full meaning," Perez said.

The West Tennessee civil rights unit is the 13th of its kind in the United States, and will cost no extra money.

"This responsibility includes aggressively investigating and working to prevent hate crimes, color of law abuses by public officials, freedom of access to clinic inferences or face act violations, human trafficking and involuntary servitude," Hess said.

Perez said the feds have a docket of 120 cold cases across the country, many in West Tennessee.
     
"Allegations of criminal wrongdoing, hate crimes, police misconduct, and we have a steady docket of civil cases whether it's fair lending cases, fair housing cases, or Americans with Disabilities Act cases," he said.

Along with the Civil Rights Unit, the FBI will form a civil rights task force to collaborate with local law enforcement on these civil rights cases.  They want citizens to know they're open for business and they want you to contact their office if you have a complaint.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly